Bangladesh to hold parliamentary polls on Dec 18

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Dhaka, Sept 21 : Chief Adviser to Bangladesh's caretaker government Fakhruddin Ahmed has said that the country will hold ninth Parliamentary election on December 18th and sub-districts elections on December 24th and 28th this year.

He said this in a nationwide speech that ending the state of emergency, which was promulgated in January 2007 Bangladesh would hold parliamentary election on December 18 this year.

"In order to avoid the obstacles to democratic transition and pay respect to requests of the majority of the political parties, the Election Commission has decided to hold general elections ahead of all other (local government) polls," Ahmed said.

He said the 'relevant provisions' of the Emergency Power Rules (EPR) would also be 'relaxed or annulled' to ensure free and fair polls.

The Chief Adviser urged the political parties to reach a consensus on all fundamental issues for a smooth democratic transition 'shunning the path of destructive and negative politics,' which analysts earlier said to have invited the emergency rules in the country.

The interim government chief's announcement came, as the Election Commission concluded its crucial third round of talks on electoral reforms with major political parties, on Sunday.

The Election Commission has fixed December 18th as the election date for parliamentary elections, while the sub-districts polls are scheduled for December 24th and 28th.

The general election was originally slated for January 11th, 2007, but the growing political violence and rift between the major parties ahead of the now postponed polls had forced President Iajuddin Ahmed to promulgate the state of emergency and installation of the current caretaker government with crucial military support.

Soon after its assumption, the interim administration launched a massive anti-graft and anti-crime campaign that saw the detention or imprisonment of nearly 200 people, mostly politicians while dozens others former ministers and lawmakers fled the country to evade justice.

ANI

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